Roasted Garlic Dip

Whenever i do a chicken on the BBQ, whether it be rotisserie or beer can i always seem to do similar variations of the same side dishes, not today though! I spent the morning looking at tapas style dishes and then headed out to get the ingredients. I spent the afternoon cooking and making two dishes so that when it was serving time they were already completed.

The first dish i started was a roasted garlic dip. This was to be served with potato wedges and i love dips!

1 garlic Β bulb, separated into cloves, unpeeled.

1/2 tbs olive oil.

35ml of either natural yogurt or sour cream. I used Greek yogurt as I had some leftover.

30ml mayonnaise, (add to taste).

salt and paprika.

Place the garlic cloves into a small roasting tray, pour in the olive oil and coat them. Spread them out in an even layer. Roast in a 200degC preheated oven for 25mins. Set aside to cool.

Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skin by pinching off the end of the clove. On a chopping board add a little salt to the garlic and mash to a paste. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and cream/yogurt. The mayonnaise can dominate so be aware when adding. Season to taste with salt and paprika. Can then be plastic wrapped and kept in the fridge until serving. Sprinkle a little more paprika when served.

I also made roasted peppers with Β maple syrup and almonds earlier in the afternoon. This was served at room temperature and it was sublime!

Finally, at the table the gorgeously cooked chicken was served with arguably the best potato wedges i’d ever had, Angela agreed! And sauteed garlic mushrooms. So good man.

No good pics of the wedges or chicken. It’s always such a rush to get it served and to the table hot! Plus i’m hungry yo! πŸ˜‰

We had leftovers too so we’re having the same dish tonight, just have to make a few more wedges. Ahhh.

Triple treat!

Earlier in the afternoon we had a mad storm. Nothing like a thunder and lightning show on a Sunday afternoon. We just sat outside with our wines, one of life’s simple pleasures. The next door neighbour’s dog was scared of all the thunder and sat under Angela’s chair. Think she liked Angela cause she gave her some ham, she looked hungry!

As added bonus i didn’t have to water any plants! Hah

Stormy Sunday!

A good day. Till next time!


Classic Cheeseburger

I’ve had a cheeseburger on the brain for a while now, it’s just something that i can’t get out of the system until i have one. For most people, and even in the past myself; to satisfy that cheeseburger craving you’d just hit McDonalds. Not tonight though.

I’ve been reading about what goes into the patty, what’s the best cheese to use, how to construct the burger. There are plenty of opinions and i’m going to have to subdue my own as well to keep to the rules that best allow me to say, ‘classic cheeseburger’. πŸ™‚

It’s actually been a lot of fun reading random articles with the comments that follow, studying pictures on Google images. I’m now educated on cheeseburgers.

This is the basic structure on how to build a classic cheeseburger which i’ve stolen from here, it’s actually a good read and the comments are also worth looking at.


Firstly with the patty; the simplest method and most common is do not add anything to your mince other than salt and pepper. I shaped my patty gently, not working the meat too hard into a round and cleaned up the edges with my thumb. A light seasoning of salt and pepper after you’ve formed the patty, you season the other side when you flip your meat.

I’ve made some BBQ sauces recently but keeping to the objective i’ve stuck with the classic ketchup. Fortunately i can use my home made pickles though πŸ™‚

What cheese to use is another hot topic, i had some edam on hand so decided to use that, it melts well and that’s what you want here. Next time i’m going to try a Gruyere.Β IMG_9859

All the salad and condiments ready. I didn’t believe mayo was part of the classic cheeseburger so left it out.

I wanted to do a side dish for this and onion rings had also been a recent craving for me so cooked up a batch. Very messy and quite fiddly, at times i was wondering why i decided to do it. But in the end it was worth it , they were brilliant and the perfect accompaniment to my burger πŸ™‚

Onion rings

The meat should be flame grilled in my opinion, it just adds that smokiness, Β colour and char that a pan cannot give. Although i used the skillet it’s still not authentic enough, next time πŸ™‚

Arrange your burger as per template and you have a mouth watering meal to dive into.

All the work and research payed off.
All the work and research payed off.


Texas Tailgate Burger

Ange is out for the night and you know what that means? Burger time! When you’re cooking for two you’ve go to cater for the other person, you can’t simply cook everything you want, you have to take into consideration what they enjoy too. I don’t have to worry about that tonight haha πŸ˜‰

I have a folder of recipes which i print out, it’s another sort of addiction, print.. print..print… I have a tonne of burger recipes. This recipe was the first one in my folder, one of many. I kept skipping past it not even bothering to read it….finally i did…. hmmmm…. wow… this looks great. I’ve made my own pickles, my own BBQ sauce, i know where i can get these Kettle BBQ chips, let’s get the ground chuck, i have salad, sorry, was getting carried away there in my semi-9:37pm-drunken stupor πŸ™‚

So many elements of this burger poked me in the eye with excitement. Let’s start off with the burger pattie itself. Ground chuck, with finely chopped pickled jalapeno, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Nice, that’s my kind of pattie.


Makes 2 large patties or 3 smaller πŸ˜‰

1pound, 400g ground chuck. I asked the butcher to ground the chuck up for me and he said that the beef mince they use was in fact chuck, so just mention it. It was like $5 for that.

2 tbs finely chopped pickled jalapenos.

1/2 tsp each of kosher salt, ground black pepper and chilli powder.


Mix gently and form into patties.
Mix gently and form into patties.


I’d never seen a BBQ sauce applied this way. Finely grated smoked cheddar, your favourite BBQ sauce and some diced brown onion mixed together and left at room temperature. This will be slathered on your burger pattie half way through cooking.

Cheesy, onion BBQ sauce, snnnn.
Cheesy, onion, BBQ sauce, snnnn.


3/4 cup BBQ sauce.

1 cup finely grated smoked cheddar.

1/4 diced brown onion.


Meanwhile we had a massive storm, ahhhh....
Meanwhile we had a massive storm, ahhhh….
Home made, i love it :)
Home made, i love it πŸ™‚

I made these pickles a couple of months ago, specifically for a burger when needed. I also made a couple of BBQ sauces. I have been meaning to post them on here but i wanted some labels to put onto the bottle to add some ‘coolness’ hah. Anyway, regardless, they both came in handy tonight and that’s why i made them πŸ™‚ The pickles were so sweet and crunchy, very impressed!

The thought process is much longer than the cooking process. I spent more time thinking about it than eating it, probably no surprise to most. Β I enjoy thinking about food, reading, watching food programs, once you start eating, it’s all down hill, you get full, possible disappointment, whatever Β In my case here, it was, ‘i want another burger’, but i know it will ride me off. Oh well, it was a quick climax and then a long downer, that’s how good it was. Is that a bad thing? hehehehe πŸ˜‰

There’s endless possibilities with burgers and that’s so exciting. I wonder what’s next? It could very well be this one, it was sensational.

Its bark is worse than its bite :)
Its bark is worse than its bite πŸ™‚

This really should be done on the BBQ, that’s the inspiration to make this burger again. It’s a bit extreme to get the BBQ heated up, (all those coals) for one person. Am i justifying my laziness??

This is the original – Texas Tailgate BurgerΒ recipe.

I still don’t understand the Texas Tailgating thing though πŸ™‚

Lamb and Harissa Pizza.

This pizza has always been my number one gourmet pizza. Sure i adore some of the classic styles but this one just tops the list for texture and flavour. Spicy lamb, crispy base, fabulous cheese and the zesty topping.

Since i’ve started making my own bases i’ve never gone back to store bought ones. It’s definitely more work but you get the thickness and size you want and it’s certainly a lot cheaper.

Firstly, let’s do the bases.


Makes 2 pizza bases.

1/2 tbs dry yeast.

1/2 tsp caster sugar.

1/2 cup lukewarm water.

1&3/4 cups flour.

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes.

1/2 tbs olive oil.


Add the yeast, sugar and water to a bowl, mix to combine. Set aside for 5mins to bubble and foam.

Add your flour, salt and olive oil to a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture and with floured hands combine to form a dough. Bring dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4mins.

Place in a bowl and top with a damp cloth and leave in a warm spot for 30mins to rise.

Once dough has risen, take a clump and roll on a floured surface to the thickness and size of your liking. Top with your tomato paste or whatever base sauce you’ve chosen and add topping!


Our pizza canvas.
Our pizza canvas.

Toast your pine nuts for the salad. Grate your cheeses, prepare your lemon zest and juice. Chop some parsley, organize your lamb and harissa in a bowl and combine.

Sensational colours and ingredients.
Sensational colours and ingredients.

Cook the lamb mix on a medium heat for about 5-7minutes, breaking up lumps, season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.

It's smells gud.
It’s smells gud.

Sprinkle some cheese over your base, add the lamb mince and then add more cheese.

IMG_9612Place your pizza on a tray lined with baking paper or pizza stone and cook in a pre-heated oven or BBQ for 15-20minutes depending on the thickness of your base. Pizza stone is the only way to go for me now. You can put the stone in the oven but i love making my pizza on the BBQΒ if i have the time.

Meanwhile make your salad.

Serve pizza with the salad on top and enjoy. It has a fabulous spiciness to it and with the zesty, crunchy salad on top with those soft and roasted pine nuts it really is a fantastic pizza.

IMG_9616The first two pieces won’t last long so soon after you’ll be making your second pizza whilst still remembering how good the first one was πŸ™‚



80g baby spinach.

1tbs olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Zest of half a lemon.

40g pine nuts, toasted.

Seasoned slightly with salt and black pepper.


1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan.

250g lamb mince.

1tbs harissa paste.

salt and freshly ground black pepper.


tomato paste for the base.


This is a Donna Hay recipe πŸ™‚



BBQ leg of goat

I walked past our butcher at Top Ryde a while ago and saw this leg of goat and had to buy it. It’s been in the freezer since then and today this bad boy is hitting the BBQ.


Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle over the chopped rosemary, garlic and sage and finally pour over 5 tbs of olive oil.


All the vegetables that will be cooking with the goat, (plus some fennel!).
All the vegetables that will be cooking with the goat, (plus some fennel!).

Boil the new potatoes, carrots and pickling onions for 10 minutes in separate pots.


The goat had been on the BBQ for about 20 minutes before adding the vegetables. I basted the goat and tossed the vegetables every 20-30 minutes from then on.


The Silver Spoon - the ultimate Italian cook book :)
The Silver Spoon – the ultimate Italian cook book πŸ™‚

The vegetables were beautifully soft and caramelised.


You try to compare the goat to either beef or lamb but the best thing to do is accept it as goat’s meat haha, I’ve never had it BBQ’d this way and then trying to carve it from the bone. Great fun. The vegetables were the star of the dish though. Unbelievable.Β 


Sit down with a full belly and enjoy one of these
Sit down with a full belly and enjoy one of these


Steak & Vege – Jules style

It’s the old saying, ‘steak & vege’, but it’s never that simple at our place πŸ™‚

Tonight’s dinner was more about using what we had in the fridge. It was going to be a rainy night and i love being outside on the BBQ when it’s raining, so mix those two things together and revolve a meal around it.

Firstly i made some kale chips, i had an idea for them for the dish.

We had kale, corn, fennel and brussels sprouts left from the markets, plus some tomatoes my Mum gave me. I bought a capsicum and i roasted that on the coals of the BBQ until it was black then i put it in a bowl with glad wrap over the top to steam.

Ahh night photo's, how i loath thee.
Ahh night photo’s, how i loath thee.

I roasted the corn, fennel and tomatoes all separately on the grill over the coals. Once the corn had cooled i cut off the kernels. I chopped up all the roast vegetables and put them in the bowl, added some extra virgin olive oil, some chopped parsley, salt, pepper and combined and set aside. Step two done.

OK, i boiled the brussels sprouts and kale separately until cooked, drained and cooled.

I'm just loving kale as you might of guessed.
I’m just loving kale as you might of guessed.

I heated some olive oil in a pan and added some chopped onion, then heated up the kale and sprouts, after a few minutes removed the greens and added the cream until it boiled, then put the greens back in with the blue cheese, (crumbly), and stirred it around to mix, melting the cheese in. This can be kept warm on a low heat. Step 3 done.

Even tasting this the next day it was heavenly. Me saying that about blue cheese? Hmmm
Even tasting this the next day it was heavenly. Me saying that about blue cheese? Hmmm

I added more coals to the BBQ beforehand to get the heat going again for the steak. I bought a big rib eye at our new butchers in Macquarie Centre, yummo! This was seasoned and oiled as usual and left at room temperature before cooking. I oiled the grill and put the bad boy right over the heat. I’d never done a steak this size on heat this way, so we’ll see what happens.

Steak all cooked and left to rest while i plate up. For something i knocked up i was pretty impressed, tasted wonderful. Steak maybe slightly overcooked but no problem there. Got a little influence from Neil Perry on the roast vege salad that i saw on the weekend and Curtis Stone influenced creamed kale and brussels sprouts.
Crumble some extra blue cheese on the creamed greens when serving.

I walked in the door at 5pm, straight into the kitchen and finally sat down and watched TV at 8:30pm, there is sit down for dinner in there but as i’ve said before, ‘i don’t know why i do it to myself’ haha

Congrats to you if you just read all that. Give yourself a swing of red.Β 

Rib eye with creamed greens, roasted vege salad and kale chips.


Simple steak and vege? Snnnn, yeah right :)
Simple steak and vege? Snnnn, yeah right πŸ™‚



Beer Can Chicken

I haven’t done a beer can chicken for quite a while now and we had a chicken sitting in the freezer so what better way to put it to use than to stick a beer can up its rear and roast it πŸ™‚

This is where we start :)
This is where we start πŸ™‚

Next we need to prepare the spice mix to rub over the chicken.

1/4 cup of brown sugar, sea salt and paprika, ( i used hot paprika) and then finally 2tbs of freshly ground black pepper. This makes quite a bit and you will have heaps left over but if it’s stored correctly it will last 6 months.

I couldn't help but dip my finger in several times to taste it.
I couldn’t help but dip my finger in several times to taste it.

Prepare the chicken by cleaning out the cavity, cutting the skin around the neck and rear end and then patting dry inside and out. Sprinkle some spice mix inside the chicken, pour over 2tsp of vegetable oil and rub 1tbs of spice mix into the bird, (i used a bit more). Drink half of the beer in a speedy fashion then add 1tsp of the spice mix to the can and then place the chicken onto the can.

hehe, funny huh :)
hehe, funny huh πŸ™‚

I’m also doing two types of potatoes; one wrapped in a few layers of foil with some butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder placed over the coals on the BBQ and the second batch roasted in some duck fat in the oven. I par boiled the potatoes before roasting.

We got these 'emma' potatoes from the markets the other day.
We got these ’emma’ potatoes from the markets the other day.

Angela demanded we have greens, Β kale we bought on the weekend with some broad beans and peas. I blanched each one up separately and i will put them all in the fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil at the end to warm them up. We also got some corn and i am going to roast that over the coals just before serving with some of the best butter i’ve ever tasted.

As green as it gets.
As green as it gets.

I cooked the chicken for a bit over an hour, turning it a couple times so it didn’t burn on one side. Looking pretty yummy i reckon πŸ™‚



How good do the roast potatoes cooked in duck fat look? πŸ™‚

So crispy and fluffy in the middle.
So crispy and fluffy in the middle.

I put myself under the hammer with this meal, luckily Angela helped me out here and there, way too many dishes but when i get started it’s hard to stop haha. Anyway, the whole dish was amazing. I really pigged out. Angela bought some fresh bread rolls. Opened mine up, spread some butter on it, put on some chicken breast meat, some of the vegetables and also some of the potato roasted on the BBQ and had a stunning sandwich.

Leftovers today, WOOHOO!

Very scenic :)
Very scenic πŸ™‚
Time to dig in :)
Time to dig in πŸ™‚

Something a little simpler tonight, pasta πŸ™‚